Clampdown on Russian money is effective and should go further

News Letter editorial of Friday March 4 2022:

By Editorial
Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:01 am
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:03 am
News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The UK yesterday was continuing to put pressure on wealthy and influential Russians.

Alisher Usmanov, a billionaire with links to Arsenal and Everton football clubs, has been subject to sanctions.

Igor Shuvalov, a former Russian deputy prime minister, is subject to a travel ban and full asset freeze.

In France a yacht linked to the Rosneft boss, Igor Sechin, has been seized and in Germany there were disputed reports that a superyacht belonging to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has been compounded.

On these pages yesterday, the DUP MP Sammy Wilson wrote a powerful article welcoming London’s move against cronies of Vladimir Putin, but saying that the time lag in enforcement would allow some of them to move assets to less rigorous countries.

Opposite, the US ambassador to the UK Philip T. Reeker talks about the financial restrictions America has applied to Russia.

It has been said that none of these penalties are a substitute for military assistance to Ukraine, but they

However the pressure that is being applied on wealthy Russians who are seen as associates of the Kremlin is making some very rich men uncomfortable.

Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell Chelsea FC, and donate some of the proceeds to victims of the war, seems to be a response to the pressure.

President Putin’s plutocrat friends love the prestige of living the high life in the world’s most glamorous cities and resorts and such seizures are bound to worry them.

Meanwhile, their brutal patron has not seen Russian troops make the progress into Kiev that he had hoped for.

Sanctions will not stop the invasion but nor are they irrelevant to overall course of this sudden international crisis.

As Mr Wilson wrote, the clampdown on Russian dirty money needs to go further.

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